Danielle Deadwyler to Receive Breakthrough Performance Award at Palm Springs Film Awards (Exclusive)

Deadwyler is being given the award for her performance in Chinonye Chukwu’s drama “Till”

Danielle Deadwyler
Photo by Dalvin Adams

“Till” star Danielle Deadwyler will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Awards on Jan. 5, Palm Springs International Film Festival organizers announced Monday.

The award will be presented at the Palm Springs Convention Center in the desert resort town east of Los Angeles, at the beginning of a film festival that will run through Jan. 16. It places Deadwyler in the company of previously announced honorees Cate Blanchett (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Austin Butler (Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor), Viola Davis (Chairman’s Award), Colin Farrell (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Bill Nighy (International Star Award, Actor), Sarah Polley (Director of the Year Award), Michelle Yeoh (International Star Award) and Steven Spielberg and the cast of “The Fabelmans” (Vanguard Award).

Deadwyler has burst into the awards race this year with her performance as Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of teenager Emmett Till, who was lynched in 1955. Till-Mobley insisted that her son’s bloated and battered body received an open-casket funeral, which helped galvanize the Civil Rights Movement in the ’50s.

In announcing the award, PSIFF Festival Chairman Harold Matzner called her performance in the Chinonye Chukwu movie “unquestionably moving and memorable” and “incredibly significant.”

Deadwyler won the Gotham Award and the National Board of Review’s Breakthrough Performance Award for “Till.”  She has also appeared  in “The Harder They Come,” “Watchmen” and the recent Netflix series “From Scratch” and “Station Eleven.”

Previous recipients of the Breakthrough Performance Award include Mary J. Blige, Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o and Rosamund Pike.